As the media cartel loses its power to define the agenda and dictate the terms of debate, states are starting to reassert their power to protect their citizens from an out-of-control federal government. A number of states have already passed laws that serve to reign in federal power over the regulation of guns. As an example . . .
In Idaho, the Legislature unanimously passed a law this year to keep any future federal gun measures from being enforced in the state. In Kansas, a law passed last year says federal regulation doesn’t apply to guns manufactured in the state. Wyoming, South Dakota and Arizona have had laws protecting “firearms freedom” from the U.S. government since 2010.
A News21 analysis shows 11 such bills in nine states have been signed into law, mainly in Western states, along with Kansas and Tennessee. Three more passed but were vetoed by governors in Montana, Missouri and Oklahoma. Many others failed to pass, even in conservative states.
Nullification laws have been introduced in more than three-quarters of U.S. states since 2008. More than half of those bills have come in the last two years, after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. All but three have been introduced since President Barack Obama took office.
Arizona is considering a bill, HB 2300, that would prevent local governments from serving as agents of the federal government if new federal gun regulations are passed. President Obama has vowed to use his executive power to push through such restrictions. The executive orders he has passed to date on the subject, while troubling, haven’t had much practical effect.
A. Notwithstanding any other law and except as required by a court order, an agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state or an employee of an agency or political subdivision of this state acting in the employee’s official capacity shall not do any of the following:
1. Knowingly and willingly participate in any way in the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule or regulation issued, enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date of this section regarding a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition.
2. Use any assets, state monies or monies allocated by this state to political subdivisions of this state on or after the effective date of this section, in whole or in part, to engage in any activity that aids a federal agency, federal agent or corporation providing services to the federal government in the enforcement or any investigation pursuant to the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule or regulation issued, enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date of this section regarding a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition.
The law is similar to the Idaho law enacted in 2014, but goes farther in that it covers all new federal firearms laws, not just the confiscation of firearms. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the federal government cannot compel state agents to enforce federal laws. The last ruling to that effect was Printz v. United States, in 1997. The court decision is referenced in the HB 2300:
4. That this right to be free from the commandeering hand of the federal government has been most notably recognized by the United States Supreme Court in Printz v. United States when the Court held, “The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program.”
5. That the anticommandeering principles recognized by the United States Supreme Court in Printz v. United States are predicated on the advice of James Madison, who in Federalist Number 46 advised “a refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” in response to either unconstitutional federal measures or constitutional but unpopular federal measures.
The federal system and the Constitution were largely designed to limit the power of the federal government through a system of checks and balances. During the “progressive era” of the last hundred years, those checks and balances have been seriously eroded, with the federal government taking control of vast areas of people’s lives. Protecting Second Amendment freedoms is just one area where the people are attempting to reassert limits on government power.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.